Notes: Most people need a car that shifts gears & coil springs that don't shred tires. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 2003 Ford Taurus has major issues with the transmission failing. Typically the 2003 Taurus transmission failure costs $2,000 to fix by about 90k-100k miles. Not good.

Adding insult to injury, the 1999-2003 Taurus also has a huge problem with coil springs breaking which can puncture or even shred tires while driving.

The US government spent THREE YEARS (2008-2011) investigating the 2002-2003 Taurus coil springs. Although Taurus/Sable from earlier years were recalled, ultimately the NHTSA did not force a recall. They determined that because there had been no deaths & very few bad crashes & injuries, the broken coil springs defect was no big deal & not a safety defect. Tell that to all the owners who had close calls...


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,499 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #136

Jul 052013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2003 Ford Taurus. Consumer writes in regards to transmission problems. Consumer sent additional correspondence. The consumer stated the vehicle stopped forward movement, in the middle of the highway, and it felt as though the vehicle was in neutral. The engine continued to idle, and the vehicle had to be towed. The consumer stated the torque converter was defective. Updated 11/20/13

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #135

Apr 112012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cpsc# I1240221A. 2003 Ford Taurus. Consumer stated the transmission failed unexpectedly and without warning while driving.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #134

Aug 012012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,600 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that as the gear was shifted from park to drive, the gears slipped. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repair. The manufacturer and the dealer were made aware of failure. The dealer stated that the diagnostic of the failure was difficult because the failure was not present constantly. The current mileage was 60,650 and the failure mileage was 60,600. Updated 08/29/12 updated 09/05/12

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #133

Mar 312012


  • miles


I am disabled and my son and I had the same type of car a 2003 Ford Taurus. About a year ago my sons car just suddenly had its transmission stop working he said there was no signs before it happened, but I thought he was just not paying attention. Well today 03/31/12 my 2003 Taurus did the exact same thing and there was no warning it just was like it was kicked out of gear. I depend on my car because of my physical condition. However being left stranded at the side of the road without any help was a big problem.

- Sturgeon, MO, USA

problem #132

Jan 032012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact started the ignition and attempted to shift into reverse but the vehicle would not respond. The vehicle would not operate in any gear which was selected. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the faulty transmission was replaced with a new manufacturer's transmission. One week later, the transmission failed as the contact attempted to enter a driveway. The vehicle was towed back to the mechanic where the transmission was being replaced with another manufacturer's transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000. Updated 5/12/11

- Hope, AR, USA

problem #131

Aug 012010

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Cruise control was set at 70 when the car all-of-the-sudden accelerated out of my control to the highest possible RPM and then snapped at about 90, rendering my car completely useless. I found myself coasting w/ very little control, out in the middle of nowhere, 5 miles from the nearest exit. Cost over $2000 out-of-pocket to completely replace 200 transmission-related parts.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #130

Mar 122010


  • 68,000 miles


I got this car in 2009 around about November. By March 2010, the transmission went out on me with no warning. Got another transmission now March 2012 I just found out to have my transmission rebuilt again and I cannot afford to have it rebuilt again. How long do a transmission suppose to last in a Ford Taurus anyway. I mean will I have to have my transmission rebuilt every two years as long as I own this car?

- Irwinton, GA, USA

problem #129

Apr 152008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I purchased a new Ford Taurus SE in 2003. After only 30,000. Miles on the odometer my transmission failed on the freeway. I had it towed to Goodyear and a mechanic confirmed that the transmission failed and referred me to transmission specialist. My quote to have the transmission rebuilt was $3,000. I believe that this falls under "catastrophic mechanical failure" and I should not have to pay to get this situation rectified. I contacted Ford customer relationship center and requested that the car be replaced with a new Taurus or a new transmission with warranty and the repair of any collateral damage as a result of the car sitting in my garage since 2008, I was told that nothing could be done because the warranty expired two months before the transmission failed. I was nearly killed as I tried to navigate from the freeway to the shoulder. In essence I paid $1,000. Per mile for the life of this car. 2003 was one of Ford's worst year for transmission failure. This transmission should have been recalled. To have such a major component fail after owning the car 5-years and just 30,000. Miles is a travesty. In conclusion, I would like to know how many owners died as a result of this transmission failure and hope that we can receive assistance for this travesty by an american auto company's lack of responsibility. This is not right and I don't know how a company can get away with this, to me, is an illegal act that should not be tolerated! updated IVOQ 07/09/12 the consumer also reported transmission failures experienced by other consumers. Updated IVOQ 07/23/12

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #128

Jan 312012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The transmission just stopped working with no prior indications of any problems. I have been told that it was the torque linkage that needs to be replaced. When I looked this up I line I saw many people who have had the same problem.

- Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #127

Nov 102011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,400 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated the transmission failed on the vehicle without warning. The contact stated there was no slippage or leaks coming from the transmission. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer and it was determined the torque converter failed and needed to be replaced. The contact stated the failure was a manufacturers defect. The failure and current mileage was 93,400. Updated 01/18/12 the consumer stated the vehicle would not going into any gear, except park. Updated 01/27/12

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #126

Sep 262011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles


I was driving on a major highway with my children and all of a sudden my car's transmission light came on, my car started bucking, and soon lost power and I was forced to put my car in park in heavy traffic and restart it.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #125

Dec 012010


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while stopped a loud noise emitted near the drivers side front tire. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who confirmed that the coil spring fractured in half. The mechanic replaced the coil spring. The contact also stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate while driving in reverse. This failure was diagnosed by a second private mechanic, who stated that the transmission needed to be rebuilt. The manufacturer was notified; however, the transmission was not repaired. The failure mileage was 65,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Ridgeway , OH, USA

problem #124

Aug 262011


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated after coming to a complete stop and preparing to move the vehicle, the rpms increased and the vehicle did not move. The vehicle was towed to her residence and will be towed to a mechanic shop. The dealer stated the repair cost was $3000 to replace the transmission. The manufacturer was contacted and stated no recalls were issued for the failure, and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Elkridge, MD, USA

problem #123

Aug 262011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 107,235 miles
2003 Ford Taurus ses, automatic-transmission. Was driving the car and had just made a right hand turn. The engine started to over-rev and there was no power being trnasmitted to the wheels. The engine runs fine but no matter what gear is selected from reverse to drive there is no power being transmitted to the wheels. This is a safety risk as had this happend while at highway speed or crossing an intersection could easliy have resulted in serious injuires or death. There are numerous complaints of this problem with Ford taking no responsibility.

- Alfred, NY, USA

problem #122

Aug 252011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Drove home from problems...went out on 8/25/2011..stopped at a red light...everything was fine...went about 50 feet...transmission dis-engaged and coasted to the side of the towed home. Transmission shifts fine but wont engage.

- North Adams , MA, USA

problem #121

Aug 232011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 102,200 miles
Driving along on my way to work, on major highway (rt. 95, ewing, NJ) slightly over 65 mph speed limit and all of a sudden engine starts racing. No bang, clang or boom sounds. I reduced pressure on gas pedal to stop racing engine. Tried to press again to resume speed, but no reaction but racing engine again. Pulled over to right shoulder through 2 lanes of traffic in morning rush hour and stopped. Tried car in all gears (including reverse), only reaction was like car was in neutral, no gears worked. Called for a tow. Mechanic said it was major transmission failure (torque converter broke and a pump?) in my 2003 Ford Taurus with 102K miles. I was lucky I had enough speed to maneuver my way across the highway to the shoulder.

- Morganville, NJ, USA

problem #120

Aug 042011


  • 126,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Ford Taurus ses to work on 8/4/11 and without warning the car stopped going! my car currently has +/- 126,000 miles on it. It still was running, just none of the gears worked. I was lucky that I go to work at 7:00am and traffic was very light! I was also lucky to coast to a nearby parking lot out of the flow of traffic. This all happened without warning and the car had been running fine leading up to this! I have researched online and found many others with the same issue, hopefully Ford will do something about it! I will at least call the local Ford dealership to get their opinion, but will probably take it somewhere else as I am pretty sure the price will be better! it sounds like Ford needs to step up to the plate and make this right!

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #119

Jul 272011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
While driving on a city street the transmission of the car went out without any warnings. The car was recently serviced and only had 65'K miles. After some searching this seems like a very common problem even at low miles.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #118

Jul 212011


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated while driving 65 mph the vehicle stalled and the contact was able to shift the vehicle into neutral then back to drive gear. The vehicle stalled; however, the contact was able to drive onto the emergency lane. After the vehicle cooled down, the contact attempted to restart the vehicle and it failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer advised the contact that there were no related recalls. The contact stated the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Rose Bud, AR, USA

problem #117

Jul 072011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 80,333 miles
2003 Taurus 3.0L V6 - transmission failed while driving, could only coast to stop. Was fortunate that was able to get side of road without being rear-ended by following cars.

- Greenwood, MO, USA

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